The Odyssey: JaMarcus Russell Released by the Oakland Raiders

Justin Smith@smittstylesCorrespondent IMay 6, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders in action  against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

While it comes as no surprise that the Oakland Raiders have (according to a team spokesman via the blog by Jerry McDonald at www.ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders) released JaMarcus Russell, it does come as a surprise that it happened now.

The only logical conclusion to be drawn is that the Raiders wanted to give Russell one last-gasp chance to turn his career in Oakland around by having him work at mini-camp. Obviously, though improved, Russell's performance wasn't enough to keep him around.

You can hear a collective sigh of relief from Raider Nation, as one of the team's greatest mistakes is now in the rear-view, and although I have been very critical of Russell, I am not one of those people.

While I feel that Russell mostly did this to himself, with his sense of entitlement and lack of effort, I also feel that this kid has a ton of talent, and it makes me very sad that it will never be realized in a Raider uniform, if at all.

Another team may pick up Russell, and he may succeed, but not if he continues on his current path toward self-destruction and apathy toward the sport that made him a multi-millionaire.

I still think he's young, talented, and could develop, but the relationship between him, the Raiders, and Raider Nation was so fractured that he'll need a new start both profesionally and personally if he's to realize any success in the NFL.

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Now, we can move on and stop talking about Russell. I will be writing a longer memorial to Russell's Raiders career later on, and my take on his stint with our beloved Silver & Black.

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